Is it easy to take correspondence courses

Is distance learning suitable for me?

November 02, 2011 ofinTips & advice

Choosing distance learning is a big step. A distance learning course can mess up your private life for the duration of your studies and reduce your free time to a minimum. Therefore, careful consideration is required before enrolling in distance learning.

There are three main things that should be clarified:

  • The basic motivation - what motivates me to do a distance learning course or this distance learning course?
  • The requirements - do I have the most important personal characteristics for distance learning?
  • Self-motivation - can I motivate myself and stay motivated?

After answering these three questions, the answer to the question "Would I be a good distance student?" much closer.

1. The basic motivation

Distance learning is not equally suitable for everyone. Some distance students only become aware of this fact when they are already in the middle of a distance learning course. For most participants, the most difficult thing is to motivate yourself over and over again and to maintain the eagerness to learn over the long term. Is there perhaps a special type of person who is particularly suitable for the educational alternative of distance learning? Probably not the right type, but there are certain characteristics that make it easier to complete a distance learning course. Basically everything is a question of motivation ...

Below are some statements that make a good motivation for the start of distance learning:

  • There will soon be a vacancy in my company that I like. In consultation with the managing director, I could qualify for this job via distance learning.
  • I am currently looking for work and there is an acute shortage of skilled workers in an interesting sector - I have no time for full-time training because of my family.
  • My current job will be canceled as a result of modernization measures and I can only stay if I continue my professional development.
  • With distance learning, I can qualify for an interesting management position within the industry, with which I earn significantly more than I currently do.
  • I don't want to continue working in my current job, but I can't quit because I need the money. That's why I have to prepare for a job change while working.
  • Due to illness, I can no longer work in my old job, but I don't want to have to go to school again for further training.
  • I want to turn my hobby into a part-time job.

Here are some Basic motivationsthat are less suitable for starting distance learning:

  • I haven't done any further training in years, so I want to start distance learning now.
  • My supervisor said I should take further training.
  • I'm not sure if it's right for me - but I want to take a correspondence course on a specific topic and then see if I like it.
  • I want to earn a degree via distance learning to see if I have better career opportunities.
  • I don't lack either time or money, which is why I would like to invest in my education.

2. The requirements

Before enrolling at a distance learning school or university for distance learning or a distance learning course, you should ask yourself some critical questions and answer them honestly. However, the questions listed below should by no means be part of a psycho-test, the result of which can then be clearly read off whether or not you would be a good distance student. The questions are only intended to stimulate thought and help with decision-making.

  • Ten questions future distance students should ask themselves:
  • Am I willing to give up a large part of my free time?
  • Can I organize myself well and work independently?
  • Can I motivate myself well?
  • Can I cope well with the financial burden of distance learning?
  • Do I have a high level of stress due to family or work?
  • Do I need regular praise or encouragement from my trainer?
  • Do I need other people to study with in physical proximity?
  • Do I have my own office or a quiet place to study without interference?
  • Am I completely clear about the course content and my personal goal?
  • Do my friends and family members understand that I will have less time for them in the future?

3. The self-motivation

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important factors in distance learning is motivation. This does not only mean what motivates a distance student to take this distance learning course, but also how you can motivate yourself and, above all, how you can stay motivated. There are numerous tips from coaches and other experts in order to overcome the so-called “motivation holes”. Some popular motivational aids can be found below.

Ten strategies to overcome "motivation holes":

1. Set partial goals
Set sub-goals and milestones, which can be achieved as stress-free as possible, but not entirely without commitment. Friends and acquaintances should then be informed about the relevant goals. Objective of this measure: It causes discomfort and you have to explain when you have to admit that you have not achieved the set goals. This method works particularly well on forums and blogs.

2. The "positive treasure chest"
Prepare a small "treasure chest", which is filled with pieces of paper on which particularly good grades, praise from the teacher or other positive events are noted. When a motivation hole approaches, just take a look in the chest and read through one or two of the notes.

3. Visualization and verbalization of the goals
The medium and long-term goals of distance learning are noted on a piece of paper or on the desktop of the computer and regularly read aloud before and after the work is finished and visualized in the best possible way

4. The motivational poster
A poster is placed directly above the learning area. Motivating sentences, study goals and professional goals are written on the poster. Future salary expectations and short success stories from people with similar goals are also ideal for this tactic.

5. The blog
Keeping a blog about distance learning can be a very motivational measure, even if only a small circle of readers is reached. Nobody likes to admit in front of an audience (no matter how small) that they no longer feel like it. Should a statement without motivation be found in a blog post, then there will usually be correspondingly motivating comments from the blog readers.

6. Personal reward system
A personal reward system should be designed completely individually. This can begin with moderate consumption of favorite sweets (for sub-goals) and continue until the purchase of a new car (for reaching the final goal). As a rule, however, it should be rather small rewards in the form of leisure activities, breaks or other pleasant little things.

7. Pay attention to the thoughts
Thoughts are powerful - not only when learning, but also for suggestions of all kinds. Therefore: positive thinking! Thoughts like - "I can never do this" or "this is not for me" should be avoided as much as possible. Thoughts like "I can do it" and "I'm on the right track" are better!

8. Do not produce unnecessary pressure
Unnecessary pressure should be avoided if possible. In the end, it is only important that the study goal is achieved - getting through the studies well is completely sufficient. Not every distance student should have ambitions to be the best on the course. Therefore: do not make excessive demands - always stay on the ground.

9. Outdoor compensation activities
During distance learning, free time is usually limited to a minimum. That is why it is particularly important to use the reduced free time for meaningful compensatory activities. Ideally, these activities take place in the fresh air or at least require physical activity. If your head doesn't want to take in anything again, just go for a jog.

10. Create a pleasant learning environment
The learning environment is very important for distance learning. For distance learning, an oasis of calm should be created in which one feels really comfortable. Above all, it is important that you approach learning completely relaxed and not have to tidy up or feel uncomfortable and disturbed. If you like, you can insert your favorite CDs while studying.

4. Last but not least ...

... of course everyone has to decide for themselves whether distance learning is the right choice. When the decision for the educational alternative of distance learning has been made, the next decisions have to be made: Which subject should be chosen? At which correspondence school or university should the correspondence course be completed?

When deciding on distance learning, candidates should definitely be one thing: honest with themselves! There is no point in talking nicely about your motivation or unhelpful qualities. If you want to start distance learning, you should be 100% behind this decision and all of its consequences.

Photo credit: CC-BY / jarmoluk / pixabay